TAXON, Arizona. – John Mara’s reaction to the 2021 Giants season will be determined by his views and expectations.
If the team president still genuinely believes he has a playoff-worthy squad this fall, then he would probably find the 4-8 team ineffective.
If he believes it, then the Giants, which train all week at the University of Arizona before Sunday’s Los Angeles Chargers, will be on the Giants table.
But if Mara is realistic, and if he gets to the point where this year’s roster is still extremely incomplete, then he will take on this recovery again and show patience with head coach Joe Judge and this young program.
And I truly believe that Mara, for all his recent mistakes, sees value in staying true to the course he set for this organization in January 2020 by hiring a judge outside the box.
After all, this is the same owner who oversaw two Super Bowl races in the five years from 2007 to 2011. He used to be the steward of the gold standard winner and may become one again.
Apparently everyone in the Giants building is under pressure, as evidenced by the firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett two weeks ago. Mara and co-owner Steve Tish want to win. They want results.
Dave Gettleman no doubt ended his career as a grandmaster for many reasons, namely because the offensive line is worse than when he arrived four years ago, a setback that jeopardized the score of Daniel Jones, drafted by Gettleman, who was often injured …
But Giants fans booed Mara twice during breaks at MetLife Stadium this season because they told him dysfunction was his fault and responsibility.
Now they see the pattern and let Mara hear it. He must admit that the giants will not get off their recent hamster wheel of uselessness if they keep repeating the same mistakes.
The pattern is the constant inability of giants to self-esteem, believing that they are close to the competition when they are still far away. They also rush to find quick fixes when smarter teambuilding, player evaluation and patience are the only solutions.
Mara fired Ben Makada and Pat Shurmur during and after their second season, respectively. Both coaches went on to Eli Manning’s bench, lost too many games and paid the price, despite the fact that Mara signed the coaches’ demands.
Since then, Mara has admitted that he hasn’t shaken MacAdoo. His 2016 squad is the only giant squad to have made the playoffs since 2011. Shurmur had his downsides, but he helped draft and develop Jones and got a lot more from QB in one season than Garrett did in two parts.
Encouraged by a near-win at NFC East with a 6-10 record last season and financially hit by the closure of COVID-19, Mara and the giants reacted this spring to a sudden rise in free agency spending.
They saw their division as weak and vulnerable and wanted to give fans a reason to return to their places. So they channeled money to their roster, forcing them to restructure numerous contracts to stay within budget, and limited their financial flexibility in 2022.
But their optimism was born more out of hope and concern than reality.
Disappointed fans who want Mara to blow it all up again are only taking the lead in the organization that gave them hope in the playoffs.
It’s not that the judge has no flaws or flaws.
The injury count on the team this year is undoubtedly noteworthy, especially after rookie Judge’s squad was so healthy in 2020.
The referee should also stop jumping off the other team’s 46-yard line in 4th and 2nd places, as he did in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. This is counterproductive.
There are also problems with the game and time management. And the attack needs to somehow count the touchdowns.
However, if Mara looks at this season with the right perspective and context, he will see progress as Judge’s team tackle adversity for the second straight season.
They have not lost in a row since mid-October. In the last six games they have 3-3. They are more competitive in their division.
Judge is just one game away from pursuit of Jalen Herts and the red-hot Eagles, whose only defeat in their past five games is a 13-7 Giants win at MetLife Stadium on November 28.
Judge outplayed Nick Sirianni from the Eagles that day, just as he outplayed Sean Payton from New Orleans and Matt Rule from Carolina in October.
In addition, since Judge arrived, the Giants have added Xavier McKinney, Aziz Ojulari and Andrew Thomas to the draft. They added an extra first-round pick to the 2022 Reverse Draft Draft.
Judge also empowered players like Julian Love to take on leadership roles. And truth be told, one important thing that the Giants squad lacks is leadership, especially offensively.
However, given Mara’s recent downturn in running her franchise, his most forward-thinking decision in recent years has likely been to hire Judge.
It was not the predictable, gripping gaze of a family-conscious giant. It was Mara’s refreshing admission that his method was not working and that it was time to try someone else.
New England patriots Bill Belichick beat the Buffalo Bills away on Monday night in high winds, forcing quarterback Mc Jones to throw the ball only three times. We threw the ball, didn’t turn it over, played great in defense.
It wasn’t a fun game plan, but it was a winning strategy.
The judge is not Belichick. None of Belichick’s assistants have been great head coaches, at least not yet.
But does Judge have this gene that allows him to change and adapt his game plans weekly based on specific opponents? Here’s how the Giants beat the Eagles two weeks ago and how they upset the Seahawks away last year.
Defeating Justin Herbert on Sunday won’t be easy, and Jones’ injury is terribly unfortunate as the Giants want to gather as much information as possible in that position with two first-round picks in the April draft.
However, the arrow will point upward for a restructuring at the end of the year as the team continues to play hard and Judge continues to develop game plans that will give the Giants a chance to compete.
This is why Mara was wise to see it through to the end. Because this is the only way the Giants would better come out on the other side.